I’m incredibly encouraged by the wave of men that are coming into Student Ministries all across the country that are well equipped and excited about helping students grasp the beauty of the gospel. I think we’re (Student Pastors) finally in agreement (for the most part) that the bar must be raised in our ministries and that games and food cannot be our central focus. There have been so many different men in my life that have encouraged me, rebuked me, spurred me, and mentored me in becoming a better communicator of the gospel with students, and I want to be able to offer some of you the same. In this blog series, I want to give you some tips on Reviving the Pulpit in Your #STUMIN
Tip #1: Stop Waiting
Oh, I’ve been there, and some of you are there right now. It’s the day before (or the day of) your gathering and your fresh out of material. You panic, so you do one of few things: Google a lesson, download one from Doug Fields, rip one off of Mark Driscoll or Tim Keller, or you use one in your bag from two years ago. Two words for you: stop it. When you do this, not only is it illegal 90% of the time, but you rob yourself of the joy of growing as a follower of Christ in your prep time and it’s not honoring to God. A few thoughts for you:
- Maybe you’re in this position because you simply need to be a better manager of your time. If that’s the case, ask someone on your staff team to help you, write out a day by day plan of how you spend your time in the office, buy some great apps to help you be a diligent worker (this is one I use on a daily basis), etc. A big thing to make sure you do every week is guard your study time. Block it off (do this in chunks throughout the week) don’t answer any emails, don’t take phone calls, and clearly communicate to whoever needs to know that this time is to be free from interruptions.
- Maybe you’re in this position because you don’t have the resources to pull off a great series. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this, and I understand the heart behind it. I’ve been there. Can I just be brutally honest for a second? What resource do you really need that could possibly be better than the Holy Scriptures? You don’t need a slide, you don’t need a bumper video, and you don’t need a clever series title. All you need is a full heart of the living and active word of God! Those slides, videos, and series titles are fun to have, and you can buy them from several places. But they’re not essential. You have all you need for life and godliness right there in the scriptures. Go there first.
- Maybe you’re in this position because you’re doing everything in the church. No, really, I mean that literally. Some of you are the Youth Pastor, Children’s Pastor, Director of Facilities, Volunteer Coordinator, and somehow you got put in charge of being the point person for the fellowship supper on Wednesday nights. This is something that will take a long time to fix, but it must be addressed. Part of this process for you is doing what Paul encouraged the church in Ephesus to do in Ephesians 4:12. Be intentional about ways that you can be equipping people to do ministry in your church, walk with them for a season in doing it, and then release them to carry it out. You’ll be surprised at the amount of people in your congregations that want to serve, but just don’t think they have the gifts to do it or know where to start!
I mean this in all seriousness, if you need some help on planning a message, I would love to assist you. You can email me and we can chat.
I’m in the trenches with you, for the sake of the Kingdom.